LSU: Heisman hopeful Mathieu, aka 'Honey Badger,' dismissed for breaking team rules
LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu speaks to the media before the BCS championship in January.
August 10th, 2012
03:10 PM ET

LSU: Heisman hopeful Mathieu, aka 'Honey Badger,' dismissed for breaking team rules

It's been said that Honey Badger don't care, but what may be more accurate is that Honey Badger don't play - at least not for the LSU Tigers.

The team, which played in last year's national college football championship game, announced this afternoon that their top player and arguably the nation's best cornerback, Tyrann Mathieu, has been dismissed for violating team policy.

“This is a very difficult day for our team,” head coach Les Miles said. “We lose a quality person, teammate and contributor to the program. However, with that being said, we have a standard that our players are held to and when that standard is not met, there are consequences."

Miles added, “It’s hard because we all love Tyrann. We will do what we can as coaches, teammates, and friends to get him on a path where he can have success. We are going to miss him.”

LSU did not say which team rule Mathieu broke. The 20-year-old All-American ran into trouble last year when he and two other players violated the team's drug policy. ESPN reported at the time that the trio tested positive for synthetic marijuana.

Mathieu and the others were suspended for their team's game against Auburn.

Despite missing the game, Mathieu was still a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, awarded to college football's best player, as a sophomore. In addition to winning the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the top defensive player, he came in fifth in Heisman voting with 34 first-place votes and was the only defensive player among 10 finalists.

According to LSU, the Columbus, Ohio, native who attended high school in New Orleans, has registered 133 tackles - 16 for a loss - in 26 games for the Tigers. He also has four picks, 11 forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries, as well as four touchdowns, two on punt returns and two on fumble returns.

The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Mathieu got his nickname for his fearlessness on the gridiron. Honey badgers are known to scrap with animals many times their size, including lions, and even tangle (successfully) with poisonous snakes.

Said the Dallas Cowboys' Morris Claiborne, a former teammate of Mathieu's: "Tyrann deserved the nickname ... because the honey badger takes what it wants, and Tyrann takes what he wants on the field," ESPN reported today in a profile.

The sports network had to add an editor's note, saying, "This story was published prior to Tyrann Mathieu's dismissal from LSU's football program on August 10."

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Filed under: College football • Football • Louisiana • Sports • U.S.
soundoff (669 Responses)
  1. climbbig

    I wasn't aware that LSU had team rules...

    August 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeyZ

      My co-workers are wondering why I'm dropped on the floor laughing.

      August 10, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete Pate

      He wore an Alabama Roll Tide T-shirt to practice.

      August 10, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cheryl

      Apparently, they do. More than you can say for Penn State (and others).

      August 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Lizard

      If you are going to sell drugs on campus, you must give the coach half your take.

      August 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • YGBKM

      Now THAT was funny. Because it's TRUE! Same could be said for the SEC as a whole.

      August 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • That would be the way to go

      What are you talking about?? Why wouldnt LSU have team rules? Do you have any basis for your dimwitted comment??

      August 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ArchieDeBunker

    What did he do – threaten to vote for Romney? Or say that Nancy Pelosi was a nut case? Can't have that, now, can we?

    August 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • jellylee2020

      I suppose you are right, telling people "if you don't do this and that then I'll vote for Romney" is a much more effective threat than saying "if you don't do this and that then I'll kill myself/you/everyone" because having Romney in the White House is a fate worse than death for US citizens.

      August 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • PHILBO

      Check the State, bud.

      August 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zod

      at LSU, those would get you bumped up a notch on the depth chart

      August 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeB

      Dude, totally off-point.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. paul

    sounds like they did what they could but he was not on board with the program

    August 10, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Walker

    This is his 3rd big violation, while I'll miss watching him play for the Tigers, I am proud that the university sticks to their code for their players. Good luck to Tyrann, wish you could have stuck to the program.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Walker

    That has been one of his big violations in the past, not sure about this round.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ahmadullah

      It is important that PFL (Pakistan Football League) is looking for good quarter and full backs, and I'm hoping he signs up with Karachi University.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cooper

    Rules are rules,. They are to be followed. Well done LSU.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. RANJ

    Yeah he can go pro, sure...look out Bobby bushe new water boy coming.....

    August 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Steve On Maui

    It is my understanding that he was talking about going to a class this year, and that "alerted" his teammates and support people. They immediately reported the unusual behavior, and valid concern he would make the other "athlete-athletes" look bad for attending a class.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ndirish1842

    Les Miles, you finally made one classy decision in your entire tenure at LSU. I guess the administration forced your hand on this one because there is no way you have the decency to boot such a talented player. Way to do the right thing LSU, way to say the right things Les Miles.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Walker

    Honey Badger don't care

    August 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Archyle

      how original, you must have a team of writers working on your material

      August 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaveYoung

      That`s right, he doesn`t

      August 10, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • A pathetic apathetic

      Neither do I.

      August 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mikebo

    Nothing like blowing a few mill.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. nostrildamus

    It will be a race by other schools to pick him up.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • taz111111111

      He will have to sit out a year.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Yep. That's part of the punishment. If he hadn't broken the rules he wouldn't have to serve the "sentence". He brought it on himself. Thumbs up to Les Miles.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mick J.

      May be..but no Heisman vote for him..

      August 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • jamest297

      Well, the other schools need to take advantage of the information available by the sheer fact that LSU booted a potential Heisman winner before the season started in a year when they had a shot to REPEAT as national champions. Other schools would not do themselves proud to enroll this package of trouble.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • faye62

      You got that right (lol)...One man's lost is another man's gain...(lol)... Why write the article if you can't tell us what the infraction was??? Useless info.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will S

      He's already missed spring and summer training. Other schools might be thinking twice.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Will other schools be able to pick him up?

      August 10, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    Oh, stop.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mike58

    some peoples kids

    August 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tim Hurley

    not this snake

    August 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
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